MovieChat Forums > The Magnificent Butcher (1979) Discussion > Does anyone else feel sorry for Master K...

Does anyone else feel sorry for Master Ko **SPOILERS!!**


Does anyone else feel sorry for Master Ko (The guy Sammo faces in the final fight)? His only crime in this film is that he's a little too impetuous and doesn't look beyond what he is told by others, but he has a ROUGH ride in this film! This poor guy is lied to, insulted, and watches his family being slaughtered throughout the whole film, though his own actions are mostly honourable and justified. He spends the whole film trying nobly to avenge outrages he thinks have been committed against him and his family. Yet for all this, he only gets beaten up.

For starters, he is set up to attack Wong Fei Hung but Wong humiliatingly hands his a$$ to him. Ko was only attacking Wong in the first place because one of Wong's students beat up one of his own without reasonable justification, and that student then lied to set Ko up to think he'd been publicly insulted. Ko thought he was defending his honour!

Then, because of his son's machinations, he is duped into believing his family is being cruelly killed by Butcher Wing.
He sees his daughter killed in an attempted rape - a pretty tough break in anybody's book.
Then, he sees his son killed by what he thinks is his daughter's murderer!
When he goes to (what he believes is rightfully) avenge the deaths of his children, he is beaten up and his son's spirit shrine (or whatever that is called) is smashed which I believe could causes problems in his son's afterlife! (It was the look of anger and sadness on his face as he holds the pieces of the shrine in the final fight that got me thinking "hang on - this guy's actually just a grief-stricken father!")
And at no point does anyone seem to realise this guy doesn't deserve any of this!
And it can only get worse. After the credits have rolled, presumably the facts will be revealed to him that his son was a kidnapper who was trying to rape his own step-sister when he killed her instead and then two other people to silence them. That's gotta hurt! Ko's gonna have some serious issues to come to terms with about his parenting!

Anyone else feel sorry for the guy?

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Just me then, I guess...

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Yeah I agree - he really is just a little too confrontational, and that has massive unforeseen consequences for him.

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I too felt sorry for him. He was doing what he thought was right.

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I know it's only a film but the thought occurred to me and then I thought that we're meant to leave that film going "Nice one Wing! You sure put that bad guy in his place!" and at no point does the film acknowledge that Ko ISN'T actually the bad guy! An innocent bloke has his life ruined and is publicly humiliated, and the film asks us to take that as a good outcome. I just thought it was a bit harsh.

I'm bringing Afro back!!! Unlike most boys, I can't wear a hat!

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Capndread, im so glad you pointed that out, i was thinking the exact same thing .

Master Ko wasnt a bad guy at all, he was just ignorant of his sons evil doing and took it out on the wrong guy.

This film kicks ass by the way, especially the final fight.

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I actually watched this for the first time in ages last night, great film but you are 100% right Master Ko is something of a victim and I didn't find myself cheering on Sammo in the final fight. Perhaps they should have made the son who was the REAL bad guy a better fight and had the final duel agaisnt him but Sammo has a thing for unintentional bad guys, look at Prodgial son same thing in that film.

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Yeah, I agree. Dramatically, the final fight should have been with the murderous son. I was expecting Sammo to reveal the son's treachery to the father, who would then disown him. Instead Sammo pummels the father in the big finale fight.

Also the very last bit of comedy at the end was weird, since Sammo has just seen his brother killed and avenged him. The big group laughter at the end seemed odd.

Had some cool fight scenes though.

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Agreed. But for a grand master, he was pretty rash and impetuous so I guess thats what you get..

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Rash or impetuous or no, the OP makes a great point. It's one of the flaws of Magnificent Butcher, which really comes down to a matter of perspective. I think that Master Kao was in a crappy situation, and got played, but he also was too trusting of his family and too headstrong and confrontational.

In the end, he let his aggressiveness super cede the interest he should've had in his son's life. He should've been inquisitive enough to find out about his son's nasty lifestlye.
Hell, Master Kao might've even known about his son's criminal actions and at the same time been consciously pushing away the truth because he didn't want to deal with it.

If that's the case, which sounds reasonable, his impulsiveness and neglect towards teaching his son better morals ended up punishing him in the end. He was a victim yes, but how much of it did he bring on himself and how much truly was the fault of others?

Lam Sai Wing tries to tell Kao before they battle that he has no quarrel with him and that he doesn't want to fight. It's a hard pill to swallow coming from the man that actually did kill your (rotten) son, but at least he didn't provoke him.
Even after his son's death, Kao didn't investigate his son's life, so maybe he just wanted him to perfect and use his death as an excuse to hurt someone.
The problem with that is that the person he wanted to hurt was able to hurt him back, and karma is a harsh mistress.

So yes, sympathy for Kao, but not 100% from me at least. Whew! A lot for "just a film"! But that's the whole point of this site, right?

"Bulls**t MR.Han Man!!"--Jim Kelly in Enter the Dragon

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